Federal Government says security personnel deployed to guard the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kuje, Abuja, did their best to repel the terrorists but were subdued by the attackers superior firepower.
Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi, said this on Friday while answering questions from State House reporters after a briefing on the outcome of the emergency National Security Council meeting summoned by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Dingyadi said the terrorists succeeded in their attack on the facility because of their large number and the superior firepower they possessed.
He, however, stated that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the service chiefs to not only ensure that adequate measures were taken after the ongoing probe into the cause of the incident, but also take steps to forestall the reoccurrence of such incidents.
Asked why none of assailants had been arrested 72 hours after the attack, despite the deployment of helicopters to comb the area, the minister said, “You see these kind of things. They happen. And I want to assure you that all those who are supposed to play a role in ensuring that the attack is neutralized did the best that they could to neutralize it. I think what helped them (terrorists) was the number of people they came with and the superior weapons that they came with. And because nobody anticipated it, the few people who were there guarding the place could not withstand the number that they came with. I think that was what happened.
“Like I said, this investigation is still going on. You will only do good to allow the investigation to continue and maybe by the time they finish, you will be able to get the details of what actually happened and why it happened.”
Dingyadi, who said President Buhari expressed deep concern over recent developments, said some of the terrorists were killed.
According to him, “Some of them have been killed. But I can’t give you the number and I don’t know the number. Because like they use to do, whenever one of them is killed, they take the corpse away and you cannot know the number of people who have been killed but definitely quite a number of them were killed and many of them ran way with bullet wounds.
“Mr. President is surprised that what happened in Kuje actually took place inspite of all the security arrangement that has been made to ensure that such an incident does not happen.
“We are assuring the nation and Nigerians in general that arrangements have been made to ensure that full investigations are carried out to ensure that a repeat of these incidents will not occur.
“The service chiefs have been given very clear directives to ensure that adequate measures are taken not only to investigate what happened, but also to take steps to forestall the reoccurrence of such incidences.
“We call on Nigerians to continue to support the Federal Government, in its effort to ensure that we fight criminalities to finish and to ensure that this country is brought back to normalcy in a more secure and a more peaceful atmosphere. We are moving toward 2023, and government is committed to ensuring that there’s peace, tranquility to ensure a very credible and a peaceful and transparent elections in Osun State come early next week.”
The minister said the meeting convened by the President reviewed the security situation in the country, particularly the Kuje jail break following the attacks on the Correctional Centre by terrorists, the banditry attack in Katsina, as well as the various attacks on Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.